Thursday, July 25, 2013

TV Show Review: Sabrina the Teenage Witch - Season 6

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Still entertaining if light
Cons: Formula more obvious, finale, set sound issues
The Bottom Line:
While still amusing
Not the best from this sitcom
Best for die hard fans

"I'm Going to Go Out on a Limb and Guess You're Under Some Kind of Spell."

Most shows begin to show their age at some point.  It doesn’t matter what kind of changes they make in front of the camera or behind the scenes, eventually they start to lose steam.  That’s the case with season six of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.  Oh, the show can still entertain, but it’s not as good as it once was.

This season is pretty much Sabrina in college part two and picks up where season five left off.  That means that Sabrina Spellman (Melissa Joan Hart) and long time crush Josh (David Lascher) are finally together.  He’s just come back from a summer internship in Prague and is considering going back, but he finds a local job in Boston as a photo journalist.  In fact, Sabrina even gets a job as an intern at the same paper.

Meanwhile, Sabrina is still living near her college campus with roommates Roxy (Soleil Moon Frye), Morgan (Elisa Donovan), and Miles (Trevor Lissauer).  Over the course of the season, Roxy gets a radio show and Morgan gets cut off and has to find a job.  Miles?  He’s still a conspiracy nut who just wants to find a woman to date.

And Sabrina’s aunts?  They are still very much involved in the show.  Hilda (Caroline Rhea) runs the coffee house where Sabrina and eventually Morgan work.  And Zelda (Beth Broderick) is teaching at the college.

About the only big change this season is that Harvey (Nate Richert) is back on the scene dating Morgan.  Why, I have no idea, but it is fun to watch that relationship.

Over the course of the season, Miles hires a real vampire to star in his student movie, Zelda gets fired from her job when they check into her background, Sabrina starts talking like a cartoon character when she tries to tell Josh she loves him, and she gets a nasty virus from her evil twin that turns her into an air head.  And the cat Salem (voiced by Nick Bakay)?  He’s still causing trouble whenever and wherever he thinks he can get away with it.

Now I know what you’re thinking.  This show was always light.  In fact most people would say it was too light.  How can you tell the difference?  To me, it just feels like the writers are working harder and harder to come up with problems for Sabrina to face.  And the problems and solutions just don’t have the same creativity they used to.  The formula is more obvious this time around.

Not to say that it isn’t still fun.  The episodes can still make me laugh, and even my roommate had to grin at some of the witty lines.

The cast still does a great job of bringing their characters to life.  They really make the laughs come to life.  Look for Barbara Eden from I Dream of Jennie to show up twice as a new great-aunt.  Also recurring is George Wendt, aka Norm from Cheers, as the editor of the newspaper where Josh and Sabrina work.  There are two very brief before they were famous guest star spots from Simon Helberg of Big Bang Theory fame (working at a time travel web site) and Masi Oka from Heroes.

The special effects still amaze, too.  No, they aren’t block buster movie strong, but they work and it isn't too obvious what is going on.

I must admit I have never liked the season finale.  While it does feature a character getting married, it has the worst cliffhanger and just makes a mess of quite a bit of the show.

There were 22 episodes in the season, and all of these half hours are included in the three disc set with no extras.  The picture is full frame, the original form that was broadcast.  However, the sound is the problem.  It would randomly get louder and then quieter again on a regular random basis.  I was constantly having to adjust it, which was a royal pain.  Hopefully, I just got a bad batch and newer presses have been fixed.

The sound flaw takes another star from this set.  Overall, the best days were pasted by season six of Sabrina The Teenage Witch, but it will still entertain fans.

Season 6 Episodes:
1. Really Big Season Opener
2. Sabrina's Date with Destiny
3. What's News
4. Murder on the Halloween Express
5. The Gift of Gab
6. Thin Ice
7. Hex, Lies, and No Videotape
8. Humble Pie
9. Birthday Witch
10. Deliver Us from E-Mail
11. Could Ten
12. Sabrina and the Candidate
13. I Think I Love You
14. The Arrangement
15. Time After Time
16. Sabrina and the Kiss
17. The Competition
18. I, Busybody
19. Guilty
20. The Whole Ball of Wax
21. Driving Mr. Goodman
22. I Fall to Pieces

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